Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria commences a one-week retreat on legislative processes in government in the cities of Toronto and Ottawa, Canada.
Speaking during the opening ceremony in Ottawa, today, the Chairman of the Conference and Speaker of Bauchi State House of Assembly Hon. Abubakar Suleiman said that the all-encompassing one-week learning programme is carefully put together for members of the Conference of Speakers and by extension State Lawmakers in Nigeria in order to look into practices from other nations for good governance.
He said that the choice of Canada for the retreat is strategic given its shared history of being a commonwealth nation and democratic experiences with Nigeria.
The Chairman added that Canada is one of the most developed countries in the world worthy of learning from, especially for the fact that it ranks among the highest in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom, education, gender equality and environmental sustainability.
“While Canada is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy in the Westminster tradition, Nigeria adopts a presidential system fashioned after that of the United States.
“Both Canada and Nigeria adopt a federal system of government largely due to our multicultural characteristics and diverse ethnic backgrounds. And both nations’ Constitution provide for subnational legislatures. We acknowledge that the roles played by the provincial legislatures in Canada at the subnational level towards the growth and development of the Country cannot be overemphasized.
In view of this, our mission in Canada is simple and clear. We are set out for robust engagements with the hosts with a view to learning practices and ideals that will ultimately reposition our country on the right trajectory to greatness through subnational legislative activities,” he said.
While hoping that the engagements are going to be rewarding and impactful, Rt. Hon. Abubakar Y Suleiman commended the Institute on Governance, Global Affairs Canada, Nigerian High Commission, and the University of Ottawa and other relevant institutions and partners for making the programme a reality.
The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau expressed his Country’s readiness and commitment further deepened the bilateral relationship between Canada and Nigeria.
He also urged the visiting Parliamentarians to interact and explore the rich culture that makes the Canadian people unique.
“It is with great pleasure that I welcome the Honorable members from the Nigeria National Assembly and the State legislature to Canada.
“As you visit Ottawa, Kingston, Toronto and Niagara Falls. I hope you have an opportunity to interact with the people, take in the culture and visit the sight that makes Canada so special.
“Canada and Nigeria have a long, strong history together and I am looking forward to working with you to grow the ties between our two nations,” he said.
During the retreat, the Speakers will interface with top Canadian government officials and lawmakers with a view to tapping from their wealth of experience in governance and law-making processes.